“If there’s one thing we’re all guilty of as teenagers its giving in to peer pressure” says internet marketing author Henry Baker, “and ” he adds “whether we want to admit it or not, we are all still subject to the same pressures every day of our lives, particularly when it comes to where and how we spend our money”. This raises the question: what can the average local business do to leverage the power of peer pressure?
Mr Baker suggests “the best way for businesses to utilise peer pressure is through what we call ‘social proof’, which means, proving that other people, particularly those with influence over your customers, use your products and services.” He concludes “Before social networking sites like Facebook became so popular, the only viable way to use social proof was through testimonials and celebrity endorsements, but now, thanks to Facebook Places in particular, a whole new world has been opened up!”
Mr.Baker asserts that Facebook Places creates social proof in three distinct and powerful ways. He explains them with this simple example ”imagine you’re a 16 year old girl and you’re looking for a new hairdresser, you know there are at least 5 in the nearest town and 3 in your village centre, how would you decide where to go? Well, you’d probably want to go to the one all your cool friends go to. Now imagine you hopped onto your iPhone to check Facebook and saw a message, courtesy of Facebook Places, saying “Jess Daniels (the coolest girl at school) has just had her hair done by the BEST STYLIST EVER at Regents Hair and Beauty” I think that would be more than enough to make me book an appointment on the spot, don’t you?
This is the first way Facebook Places creates social proof: by showing the opinions of people who have what you might call ‘social authority’”
Of course, it doesn’t stop there, Mr.Baker continues “let’s say you clicked on ‘Regents Hair and Beauty’ to have a look at their Facebook Places page. The first thing you see is a huge list of comments from people saying how much they love the service. For arguments sake let’s say there are 50 comments in total, 10 of which are from people you know. You could call this ‘massed social proof’ because it implies that a large number of people use the service and so you should too!”
However, Mr.Baker knows from bitter experience that whilst social proof is incredibly powerful, it isn’t enough to just collect comments from people that use your business.
He finishes by saying “the last, and single biggest, reason to use Facebook Places is because it allows you to build a list of prospects and clients. Think of it like this, if you could somehow get every person who checked into your business using Facebook Places to give you permission to contact them regularly, through Facebook and email with special offers and hints and tips about your business niche, how much more money do you think you’d make? The truth is people do business with those they know, like and trust. The best thing you can do is have a true, honest to goodness, relationship with your clients. Luckily for us, the wonders of technology, including Facebook Places, mean we can do this automatically...but that’s a story for another day!”
Mr.Baker is offering three chapters from his best selling book "How to Grow Your Business While You Sleep" as a gift for your audience and is available for interview, articles and the right speaking engagements and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org. His best selling book “How to Grow Your Business While You Sleep” (online marketing for offline businesses) is available for purchase from Amazon.